Violence

1 12 2013

Earlier we posted on sporadic violence associated with the anti-government rallies. In The Nation we later read this:

The numbers of anti- and pro-government demonstrators have “increased continuously” yesterday, according to CAPO deputy spokesman Maj-General Anuch Romayanand. He said police were deployed at Ramkhamhaeng University, which is adjacent to Rajamangala Stadium, where the red shirts were gathering in support of the government, in an attempt to prevent violence.

He claimed there had been attempts to create violence between both sides. Peace advocates urged both sides yesterday to avoid violence. Gothom Arya, director of Mahidol University’s Research Centre for Peace Building, said that conflict should not lead to violence, as it could cause death.

Anti-government protesters increased their aggressive seizure of buildings associated with state activities, causing considerable inconvenience. With The Nation using the Democrat Party’s Blue Sky Channel as a source, and with lots of tweets from its reporters at the “Official twitter account of the Civil Movement for Democracy (CMD),” violence near Ramkhamhaeng University was reported. The Nation’s report stated:

At least four people were injured in Ramkhamhaeng University yesterday evening after gunshots were heard. The drama was thought to be related to clashes earlier with red-shirts from the nearby Rajamongala Stadium….

… Earlier in the afternoon, dozens of protesters in an anti-red shirt rally harassed men near the university by blowing whistles at them. The red shirts are holding a rally to support the government at the stadium.

Some protesters beat on a taxi transporting red shirts with their fists and sticks and later some protesters threw rocks and beat a passing public bus.

A Bangkok Post photo

A Bangkok Post photo

A group of men also showed their opposition to the reds by setting a red T-shirt on fire, then stamping on it.

These incidents prompted RU rector Assoc Prof Wuttisak Larpcharoensap to order all the protesting RU students to go back into the university compound.

The rector said a number of men on motorcycles from the stadium had provoked the protesters earlier.

The Bangkok Post reported:

One person was confirmed killed as gunshots rang out Saturday night near Rajamangala Stadium where clashes between anti-government protesters and red-shirt supporters intensified on the eve of major protest marches.

Anti-government protesters earlier attacked a bus and a taxi carrying red-shirt supporters in separate incidents near the stadium on Saturday as fears of a confrontation grew.

A BBC photo

A BBC photo

The violence comes as weeks of opposition protests led by former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban near a climax with the planned seizures of Government House and more ministries on Sunday.

A Bangkok Post reporter heard gunshots and what sounded like an explosion near the university about 8pm.

Police later confirmed that one person had been killed and five people injured. A 29-year-old Cambodian worker and two university students were among those taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. The worker apparently was a bystander and was shot in the back by a stray bullet.

The Post report continued:

Thousands of red-shirt members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) streamed into the capital on Saturday for a pro-government rally. The crowd at Rajamangala Stadium was estimated at 70,000 in the evening.

As they made their way to the stadium, some protesters were confronted by anti-government students from nearby Ramkhamhaeng University, leading to violent incidents.

According to live reports on a local TV station, one red-shirt supporter was attacked shortly before 5pm when he revved his motorcycle in front of the students. He was slightly injured in the resulting brawl.

The students later surrounded a taxi carrying a man wearing a red-shirt and smashed its windows with sticks but the driver managed to get away.

The students then marched to the stadium before Uthai Yodmanee, one of the leaders of the Students’ Network, persuaded them to return to the campus.

He said anyone who went to the stadium would not be considered supporters of the anti-government movement.

Shooter

Shooter

The Twitter feed from the anti-government protest movement lit up. As would be expected, it pins the blame for violence on red shirts and the government. This feed, however, stopped posting about 4-5 hours ago. PPT isn’t sure why or whether we are just technological dunces. It has posted a photo of what it says is the shooter, which we reproduce noting that there is no associated statement of time or location of the video capture. We have yet to find the video that the picture comes from.

The red shirt blog has been quiet for several days.

A report at the BBC stated:

At least one person has been killed and three wounded by gunfire after clashes broke out between rival protesters in the Thai capital Bangkok.

People heading to a pro-government rally were attacked by students, and later shots were fired.

This BBC report also includes a video link to an interview with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, prior to the violence near Ramkhamhaeng.

An detailed AP report on the events is unclear on the victims of the shootings, but states this:

The shootings Saturday night occurred after scattered violence during the day involving government opponents attacking several people they believed were going to a rally at a stadium of “Red Shirt” government supporters.

While the main sites occupied by anti-government protesters remained peaceful, the violence broke out near a stadium where a crowd that appeared to number well over 50,000 Red Shirts rallied in support of the government.

Initially the government foes milled around and jeered the supporters. But then two people were grabbed, one from the back of a motorbike, and beaten. Two buses were attacked, their windows smashed as passengers cowered inside. One protester used an iron rod with a Thai flag wrapped around it to smash the driver’s side window of one bus.

A Bangkok Post photo

A Bangkok Post photo

The buses and one taxi appeared to have been targeted because they carried people wearing red shirts. Police claimed soon after that they had the situation under control.

But after dark, attacks continued on individual Red Shirts, and the crowds on both sides grew. Many of the attackers were thought to be students from nearby Ramkhamhaeng University.

Prachatai reports that “[t]here are no reports if these victims were anti-government or pro-goverment protesters,” and adds that there is increasing tension following the shootings:

Tension near the pro-government Red shirt rally on Ramkhamhaeng road has escalated after one was killed and at least three were injured in hours-long confrontation between red-shirt supporters and anti-government protesters.
The incident in the evening followed earlier clashes between the anti-government student groups from Ramkhamhaeng University and the red shirts who have been holding pro-government rally at the Ratchamangkla stadium, next door of the university, in the past week.
The police have shut off Ramkhamhaeng Rd to control the situation, but gunshots and fireworks were heard continuously from the other side of the stadium.
Speaking on the stage, the red shirt leaders condemned the attacks saying that this was organized by leaders of the anti-government protest, and call both sides to resort to peaceful means.
About 70,000 red shirts joined the protest inside Ratchamangkla stadium on Saturday, while hundreds of both groups have been in confrontation all evening and night.

Actions

Information

2 responses

2 12 2013
On violence and propaganda | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the violence against a peaceful student’s rally at Ramkamhaeng University on Sunday [PPT: this is a lie; the students were anything other than peaceful], killing at least 2 […]

2 12 2013
On violence and propaganda | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the violence against a peaceful student’s rally at Ramkamhaeng University on Sunday [PPT: this is a lie; the students were anything other than peaceful], killing at least 2 […]




%d bloggers like this: